The Colorado Rockies are expected to have Dexter Fowler back from the disabled list in time for the series opener against one of the hottest teams in baseball. It's uncertain, though, if Troy Tulowitzki will get the chance to see the field that soon.
After getting Carlos Gonzalez back in the lineup their last time out, the Rockies are hoping that they're virtually at full strength when they face the Los Angeles Dodgers , winners in 15 of 18, on Thursday night.
Fowler hasn't played since June 25 because of an injured right hand, and Tulowitzki has been out since June 13 due to a broken rib. The two returned to the team Wednesday from rehab assignments at Triple-A Colorado Springs, but manager Walt Weiss wasn't ready to say if Tulowitzki would be ready for the series opener at Dodger Stadium.
The shortstop, one of the Rockies' two All-Star starters along with Gonzalez, had the NL's second-best average at .347 along with 16 homers and 51 RBIs before his injury. He's gone 6 for 14 in his last three games against the Dodgers.
"I'm expecting Dexter to be ready to go," Weiss said. "Sounds like his hand is doing fine. Tulo's going to go to L.A. It'll be more re-evaluating Tulo and going from there."
Gonzalez returned from a sprained finger Wednesday as the Rockies held on for their third win in 10 games, 5-4 over San Diego. Gonzalez went 1 for 5 while Charlie Blackmon had two hits and two RBIs, including a key triple in the eighth inning.
Colorado (44-48) will try to continue heading in the right direction with another strong showing against the struggling Chris Capuano (2-6, 5.19 ERA). The left-hander has lost his last four matchups with the Rockies with a 6.75 ERA, giving six runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 9-5 loss at Coors Field last Thursday.
That performance left Capuano at 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in his last two starts.
The Rockies, though, will also have to face a surging Dodgers club that's 1 1/2 games behind Arizona for the NL West lead after a sweep of the Diamondbacks. Los Angeles (45-45) capped that series by rallying for a 7-5 victory in 14 innings Wednesday.
"Obviously, you want to come in and win a series, but to win three was big for us," manager Don Mattingly said.
Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Ellis provided solo homers in the final inning to finish off three-hit games. Ramirez is batting .464 with seven homers and 21 RBIs in his last 22 contests, and Ellis is 15 for 39 (.385) with 11 RBIs during a nine-game hit streak.
They will next try to add to Drew Pomeranz 's woes. Pomeranz (0-2, 9.72) has not made it past the fifth inning in two starts since being recalled from the minors. He gave up five runs in four innings of an 11-1 loss to Arizona on Saturday, matching a career high with five walks.
The left-hander gave up six runs over four innings in his most recent matchup with Los Angeles, a 10-8 loss Aug. 29. Ramirez hit a two-run homer off him in that game.
The Rockies are hoping Tulowitzki will get the chance to thwart the Dodgers' attempt to move above .500 for the first time since April 15. He's 5 for 11 with two solo homers against Capuano.
|Jorge De La Rosa||3||.000||0||0||1||0||1||.000||.000||.000|
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||3||.000||0||0||0||0||0||.000||.000||.000|
|July 08, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained finger|
|July 08, 2013||Roy Oswalt||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Upper back strain|
|June 29, 2013||Jorge De La Rosa||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb|
|June 26, 2013||Dexter Fowler||15-Day DL||Right wrist soreness|
|June 23, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left game - leg cramps|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|July 07, 2013||Stephen Fife||15-Day DL||Right shoulder bursitis|
|July 06, 2013||Matt Kemp||15-Day DL||AC joint irratation, left shoulder|
|July 05, 2013||Matt Kemp||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder AC joint irratation|
|June 12, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Strained shoulder|
|June 11, 2013||Scott Van Slyke||15-Day DL||Left shoulder bursitis|
|June 11, 2013||Scott Van Slyke||15-Day DL||Left shoulder bursitis|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mark Ellis , like the rest of the Dodgers hitters, is feeling good at the plate.
Good enough to bat cleanup?
"We should probably drop Hanley (Ramirez) down a little bit," Ellis joked after driving in a season-high-tying four runs in Los Angeles' 6-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night, the Dodgers' fifth victory in a row.
"Guys are coming through in spots where maybe they weren't earlier in the season," said Ellis, who played in his 1,300th career game.
The Dodgers might have been excused for dragging their feet. They didn't arrive in Los Angeles until 4 a.m. after beating Arizona 7-5 in 14 innings. They skipped batting practice Thursday.
Instead, they moved above .500 for the first time since April 15. They are 16-3 since June 22, when they were a season-worst 12 games under .500.
"We're confident and we've got momentum," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's a good time to kind of keep it rolling knowing there are going to be days when it's not like this."
Chris Capuano pitched shutout ball for 6 1/3 innings, allowing six hits. The left-hander (3-6) struck out a season-high eight and walked none to earn just his second win at home and first since beating Miami 5-3 on May 12.
"Capuano made some good pitches. I mean, you look at some of our better hitters in our lineup, they didn't have great games, either," said Troy Tulowitzki , who was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first game since June 13. "Capuano was on top of his game and did a great job keeping us off-balance. It was an ugly game."
Capuano made a slight mechanical adjustment between starts to keep the ball down instead of in a lateral position.
"It was pretty obvious the last two starts that I needed to make some sort of adjustment," Capuano said. "Tonight was the best I felt this season."
Drew Pomeranz (0-3) gave up three runs and seven hits in four innings, struck out four and walked five in his third start of the season.
"Walks killed me. The fourth inning I was just missing in off the plate," he said. "They had some bleeder hits, some hits that found a hole or fell in or whatever, but if I'm not walking those guys, they're not going to score. So I hurt myself."
Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig , who finished second in the fan voting Thursday for the final NL roster spot in next week's All-Star game, went 2 for 4 with a strikeout before being replaced in center field by Andre Ethier in the eighth.
Mattingly said Puig had tweaked his left hip in his previous at-bat, so he was removed for precautionary reasons.
"It had been bothering me since I ran into the wall in Colorado," Puig said through an interpreter.
He bruised the hip on July 3 making an outfield catch.
Asked if he was upset about being removed, Puig said, "The team won so why wouldn't I feel good?"
Ellis went 3 for 4 with a walk, the fourth time he has had three or more hits in a game this season.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the eighth when he singled off Wilton Lopez to make it 5-0. Ethier's sacrifice fly added another run.
Los Angeles had taken a 3-0 lead in the fourth on Ellis' two-run RBI single. Pomeranz gave up three consecutive walks to open the inning before Capuano struck out and Ellis singled to left.
The Dodgers led 1-0 on Jerry Hairston Jr.'s RBI double in the second after Juan Uribe slid into catcher Wilin Rosario , causing the ball to pop loose.
Colorado's lone run came on a ninth-inning homer by Carlos Gonzalez off Brandon League .
NOTES: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was activated from the 15-day DL and played for the first time since June 13 when he broke a rib. He will wear a protective vest under his jersey. Also coming off the DL was CF Dexter Fowler , who had a bone bruise in his right hand. ... The Rockies optioned OF Tyler Colvin and OF Corey Dickerson to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... The Rockies fell to 3-8 in their last 11 games. ... Colorado is 0-21 in games when they don't score first. ... Dodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez went 2 for 5 with a strikeout on his bobblehead night. ... The announced crowd of 52,740 was the Dodgers' ninth sellout this season.